Performance Based Navigation (PBN)

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FAA Working on Advanced Applications for Performance Based Navigation

Oct. 13, 2016

From now through 2020, the FAA hopes to increase the utilization of existing RNAV and required navigation performance procedures, and develop new criteria, policies and standards, to enable more advanced applications for performance based navigation (PBN) throughout the National Airspace System (NAS).

FAA Working on Advanced Applications for Performance Based Navigation

These initiatives, along with others, are embodied in the FAA's "PBN NAS Navigation Strategy 2016," the agency's updated plan for implementing PBN over the next 15 years. Besides applying lessons learned from a decade of PBN development, the document includes input from the Performance-based Operations Aviation Rulemaking Committee, which includes NBAA.

Mid-term PBN priorities (from 2021-2025) include building on newly available PBN operations to increase NAS access, efficiency and resiliency. The long-term focus (through 2030) is to complete the near- and mid-term initiatives so that the NAS functions effectively and efficiently using PBN as the standard navigation method.

"This is not a document that checks a box, gets filed away and forgotten," said Rich Boll, a business aircraft pilot and chairman of the NBAA Access Committee's ATC, Airspace and Flight Technologies Working Group. "This plan establishes how the FAA is going to move down the road to implement NextGen procedures, and it should be viewed as a planning document for where flight departments need to be, five, 10, 15 years down the road."

The plan updates the FAA's original strategy document, released in 2006. Notable details of the updated plan include establishment of navigation service groups that will dictate the timing and level of PBN-related services. The NSG 1 and 2 airports – basically all the large and medium hubs, plus a few other busy facilities – will see the broadest range of PBN services.

"These are airports where airspace procedures and trajectories need to be more tightly controlled," explained Boll. Operators based at these airports or operators that use them frequently should pay careful attention to the roll-out plan to ensure their equipage keeps pace with the available PBN services, he suggested. Otherwise, operators that cannot meet the PBN standards may find themselves waiting with longer routes or delays than better-equipped aircraft.

Review the PBN NAS Navigation Strategy 2016.